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26 May 

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United Nations Forum on Forests, Third Session
26 May - 6 June 2003 Geneva, Switzerland 

Daily Web
|Curtain| |Mon 26| |Tue 27| |Wed 28| |Thu 29| |Fri 30|
    |Mon 2| |Tue 3| |Wed 4| |Thu 5| |Fri 6|


|Rideau| |Lun 26| |Mar 27| |Mer 28|

|Jeu 29|

|Ven 30|

    |Lun 2| |Mar 3| |Mer 4| |Jeu 5| |Ven 6|

Highlights for

Friday, 30 May 2003

Despite a UN holiday on Thursday, delegates met informally to continue working on the terms of reference (ToR) for the ad hoc expert groups. On Friday morning, delegates convened in Plenary to consider economic aspects of forests and, in the afternoon, to participate in a panel discussion on regional initiatives relating to enhanced cooperation. Above photo: The panel on "Economic Aspects of Forests".

Economic Aspects of Forests:

Jim Douglas, WORLD BANK, presented a report on economic aspects of forests, and highlighted, inter alia, the need to increase rent capture from forest use and develop government incentives for environmentally responsible investments. 

Markku Simula, INDUFOR, facilitated the panel on the Economic Aspects of Forests. He invited panelists to address, at the international level: the challenges of globalization in achieving SFM; the means of addressing trade barriers, market imperfections, and weak governance; the economic feasibility of SFM; and potential mechanisms for capturing the value of environmental benefits from forests.

Yilmaz Akyüz, UNCTAD, described the disparity between forest resources and market share among developing countries and focused on the competitive disadvantages faced by developing countries in exporting forest resources. He noted that sustainable exploitation of natural resources, and the diversification into high value-added products, requires investment in fiscal and human capital.

Stressing that SFM goes hand in hand with improvement of livelihoods, Maud Dlomo, South Africa,  stressed the need for the
meaningful participation of local actors in addressing the challenges of SFM within the context of globalization.

Highlighting the fact that harvesting for fuel constitutes 77 percent of the annual total wood harvest and the low impact of the conservation guidelines and agreements on this situation, Manoel Sobral, the Executive Director of ITTO, calls for innovative mechanism and subsides  to ensure the success of SFM in developing countries.

Achim Steiner (IUCN) explained that the ecosystem approach aims to create understanding of all the services provided by forests.

Marvin Brown
, American Forest and Paper Association, stressed the need to ensure the competitiveness of sustainable enterprises and called upon the UNFF to: give a voice to all major stakeholder groups; continue to facilitate the dialogue on certification systems; and prioritize developing effective MAR on progress in achievement of SFM.

INDIA described plans to promote private sector investment on privately owned lands suitable for tree growth and called for concrete action on mechanisms for adding value to forest products.

EL SALVADOR detailed steps it has taken to encourage private investment in forest development, highlighted the need for assistance and noted that, despite policy programmes in place, El Salvador is not achieving sustainable forest development.

BRAZIL called for the investigation of how to add value to forest products and services and noted the importance of including mention of the agreements on traditional knowledge and benefit sharing from the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.

INDONESIA declared the reduction of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers a priority in achieving objectives and stressed the need to enhance implementation of commitments to finance sustainable forest management through the provision of financial resources, technology transfer and capacity building.

NEW ZEALAND stressed the need for accurate valuing and pricing of environmental services and for market clearance for products from sustainably managed forests.

Enhanced Cooperation and Policy and Programme Coordination:

Virgilio Viana, Brazil, presented regional experiences in the Amazon region, and stressed the need to increase stakeholder control over forest management, pay indigenous people for intellectual property rights, and enhance South-South collaboration.

Liza González, Nicaragua, reported on Central American approaches to SFM, and listed regional initiatives and institutions relevant to forest management.

Peter Mayer, Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE), presented regional cooperation initiatives with a view to SFM in Europe. He outlined the nature and aims of the MCPFE, UNECE and the Environment for Europe/Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy (PEBLDS).

Kit Prins, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), stressed the importance of transparency, stakeholder participation and permanent inter-agency cooperation to encourage national coordination.

Describing the Asia Forest Partnership, JAPAN outlined positive achievements regarding law enforcement, fire prevention, rehabilitation of degraded lands, and enhanced cooperation and information management.

Congo expressed gratitude to the donors for the launch and implementation of the Congo River Basin Initiative. Left photo: Pekka Patosaari, UNFF Coordinator and Head, in conversation with the delegate from CONGO.

UNFF-3 Side Events:


On Friday, May 30, Ambassador Beat Nobs, Swiss Agency for the Environment, Forests and Development, moderated an International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) side event on promoting sustainable forest management (SFM) in the tropics. Duncan Poore, author of Changing Landscapes (left center), noted that the future of SFM in the tropics is highly unpredictable, since it is dependent on world prospects, and called for increased funding for educational programmes on forest management. Markku Simula, INDUFOR, indicated that certification can be a trade impediment, but ITTO can help remove these impediments by: creating awareness and market acceptance for a phased approach to certification; building capacity in the tropics; and promoting enabling conditions for SFM.

Rex Cruz (far left), presented an ITTO funded case study on the Philippines that assists forest concessionaries to promote SFM. In the ensuing discussion, attendees and panelists noted that pragmatism, rather than perfectionism, should be kept in mind when applying UNFF or other international guidelines to forest projects.


The Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE) side event focused on the main outcomes of  MCPFE-4 in Vienna, April 2003. Peter Mayer, Head of the MCPFE Liaison Unit, Vienna, outlined resolutions on: identifying cross-sectoral issues; enhancing cross-sectoral cooperation; developing National Forest Plans (NFP); promoting the economic viability of forests; considering social and cultural dimensions; and considering forest biological diversity and climate change in forest protection. Ingwald  and Declaration provide a useful medium to incorporate national interest in global processes and vice-versa. Kazimerz Rygoswki, Poland, focused on the importance of the cultural values of forests. Knut Oistad, Norway, highlighted the importance of the MCPFE as a political commitment.


ENB coverage and summary of UNFF-2 in PDF (English)

UNFF Website, with links to the Provisional Agenda and documents for the meeting 

Linkages forests, desertification and land issues page, including a brief introduction
to global forest policy

ITTO Website

FAO Website

Recent SD coverage on Forest:

4th Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE)

UNFF Country Led Initiative

International Conference on Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management (CICI)

Trade and Sustainable Forest Management 


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